JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African court on Monday granted a further delay in former president Jacob Zuma’s arms deal corruption trial, pending the outcome of his latest attempt to have the lead prosecutor taken off the long-running case.
Zuma, ousted as head of state in 2018 after nine years in power, has pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering over an $2 billion arms deal in the 1990s.
He alleges the lead prosecutor is biased against him, but the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) have so far rejected his attempts to have the prosecutor replaced.
Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Piet Koen on Monday adjourned the trial to a holding date of May 17 to allow the president of the SCA to weigh a “reconsideration application” lodged by Zuma last week.
“The adjournment is granted on the basis that if the application … has been disposed of by 17 May 2022, the trial shall resume at 10 o’clock on 31 May 2022,” Koen said.
Zuma was not in court on Monday to hear the judge’s order, as the spokesman of the Jacob Zuma Foundation told reporters he had a health issue.
(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)